SVG export gotcha in Illustrator 2020

I just tracked down an interesting gotcha in Illustrator 2020 (just released). Even if you tell it to keep your prior settings, it insists on setting “Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities” to True in the SVG options dialog. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

You’ll know this has occurred when the GFUI errors out after the grouping operation when loading an svg file.

As a reminder,

  1. make sure Image Location is “Embed,”
  2. uncheck “Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities,”
  3. make sure decimal places is set to at least “3” if you use inches, and
  4. uncheck “Responsive”

in the SVG option dialog when performing a Save As…


Just had this happen. And I thought I checked everything was correct before sending. LOL


Gosh, thanks for the heads up! Bookmarking!

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One of my biggest gripes about Illustrator and SVGs is that it has a tendency to forget your SVG Save settings. It’s not recommended by Glowforge, but I almost exclusively use the Export for Screens. I set up a SVG profile in there and it remembers it every single time - and I’ve never had an issue with a file doing it this way.

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again, one more reason to use PDF. i have a Glowforge preset that turns off a few things that keep the file size from getting too big (most notably, keeping it editable in AI).

then again, if it’s not complex, i just literally copy/paste and the issue goes away completely.


I just do the copy/paste thing from AI and skip SVG altogether :upside_down_face:


if you ever run into a problem (it can happen w/a really complex file), use PDF instead. :slight_smile:

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Hey @freeflight1967. Heads up for AI. Not sure what edition you have. Might be an issue for your SVGs.

Just curious, is there any way to set up AI so that it will default to these save settings for SVGs? Similar to how I have a template saved that I use each time for designing for my Glowforge?

Currently I design and save as an AI file and when I’m ready to send it to my GF I then save the file as an SVG.

Edited to add: I have AI 2020/the CC subscription if it matters.

two thoughts.

  1. If it’s not crazy complex, you can just copy/paste from AI to the home page of the GFUI. no need to make an intermediary file. i’ve only had one file that didn’t copy/paste right, and it was a messy file with way too many nodes that i cleaned up.

  2. I use PDF for those rare times I make an intermediary file from AI. and you can create a preset for PDFs that has everything set up the way you want. and one of the positives of using PDFs is that you don’t have to outline the fonts to get things into the GFUI.

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So a lot of the time AI will remember your Save As variables for SVG. But, it also forgets them for some reason that I can’t figure out.

This is NOT a supported or recommended method, but I had zero problems with Exporting SVGs. Once in the export for web section, you go in and set a profile for SVG and it remembers it every single time without fail.


Thanks, I will try this. I just have to get into a different frame of mind. I’m an old dog and it is hard for me to change my ways after figuring out what works for me.

less steps/easier always gets me over the “old dog” issues. i’m a lazy person at heart.


Geez. @shop, please explain this to me better. Talk to me like I am 5 :slight_smile:

So I ‘copied’ what I wanted from the AI artboard. Then I went to and it shows the files I uploaded previously…
Couldn’t figure out how to ‘paste’ on this screen and didn’t know how to get to the next screen so I finally just opened a previous project and then deleted it from the screen where you select your settings. Could not figure out how to paste once I was in this screen either.

I know I’m missing something simple. Quick, but not thorough forum search did not help.

from here, hit cmd-v (or ctrl-v) to paste.

btw, the one negative here is that everything is named “Pasted Design.” so if you care what things are called, you’ll want to click on the little drop down menu for the design and rename it.

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hmmm, could have sworn I tried that. Will try again after I finish this file.

Worked! you already knew that though :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

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you’re welcome. it does make the workflow a little easier (as long as you remember to rename them, so your screen doesn’t look like this:


So I created a simple Kentucky state cutout in illustrator and GF keeps saying that bitmaps can only be engraved. I saved the file as a SVG and received this error. I then read somewhere to try a PDF file, but receive the same error. Not sure what to do next.